This is a favorite time of year for designers. We get to ready homes—including our own—for the holidays and the impending waves of guests who will be visiting. Before we dive into all the fun details and décor ideas, get into the nitty gritty. Clean up, declutter, do a deep clean of bathrooms, guest rooms, the catch-all by the front door. A day spent cleaning (or hiring a cleaner) makes the home insta-ready for guests, parties and fun.
Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day there are plenty of opportunities to dress up the table. Don’t go fussy. We suggest using clean, bright, white porcelain that is perfect to go with the deep hues of Thanksgiving. Set the table or leave the plates to the side for a festive buffet. Pair with a casserole—this is not your nana’s Pyrex! Oven to table and a thing of beauty in its own right. Try a win-win: use a favorite family recipe to fill the casserole for panache and delish. Try a new-school twist on the green-bean casserole or roasted Brussels sprouts.
Add homemade touches to the table like senior designer Kellye O’Kelly. An East Coast friend sent her wax-dipped maple leaves. Over the years she’s added aspen leaves for an earthy display. For a fall burst of color, she’s traced her son’s and daughter’s hands, added them to mini-pumpkins and voile: turkey-inspired pumpkins.
Simon Peirce has a cult following for his beautiful artisan wares: hand-blown crystal in all sizes and shapes. We love the hurricanes for a simple, yet elegant, centerpiece. The warm glow of candles and welcoming scent are perfect for an early evening meal. Not up for candles? Go the route of senior designer Kim Toms who makes the home smell holiday by cooking cider or diffusing seasonal and calming essential oils. A hint of calm certainly helps when family is visiting.
It’s a proven fact that wine tastes better out of a perfectly curved wineglass. Did you know that different shaped glasses bring out different bouquets? Thanksgiving turkey pairs well with Riesling. It’s sweet, and the glass should be too. Go for hand-blown crystal glasses that are pretty and functional. A bold red comes to life in a goblet. A champagne flute cries out for the crisp bubbles of a prosecco—don’t deny what the flute wants!
Go beyond the wine with a classic, and well-stocked bar cart. The Jack Rudy Cocktail Company knows how to create an elixir for any holiday ailments. Sweetly spiced, bold and the perfect accompaniment for parties—or a quiet moment by the fireplace.
We love items that can do double-duty like the silver-encrusted agate coasters. Stacked, they are tantalizing. One by one they keep pesky rings away. Tables deserve some bling too!
Wile away the hours with games. Game rooms rival wine rooms, and really can go hand in hand. Check out the oversized tic-tac-toe game. The Xs and Os are solid and engaging for little hands and big.
Need a little something else to entertain the visiting littles? Baking is always a fun break. Melissa Dombroski loves to bake delicious holiday treats with friends to make the home vanilla scented. Added bonus: the cookies are a perfect hostess gift.
Don’t leave out Fido! He’s been sniffing round the dining room table all night. Throw him a bone, or a biscuit. He deserves a little something tonight too.
When the day is over, bellies are full and gratitude overflows… sit back and get ready for Christmas and Hannukah with twinkling lights and a hike to find the perfect Charlie Brown tree.